Nomenclature of Horsemeat Cuts

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This document presents the nomenclature of horsemeat cuts, which can be used to identify the different cuts sold in retail stores.

The nomenclature was originally prepared by a working group composed of representatives of the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Industry Canada, the Quebec Food Retailers Association, the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors and the horsemeat industry. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) assumed AAFC's role on the working group when the Agency was created in 1997.

In drawing up the nomenclature, the group took into account such factors as existing nomenclatures in the marketplace, consumer knowledge of meat cuts, and potential confusion with terms already used in nomenclatures of other species.

The working group decided that of the term "colt" is not acceptable in the absence of a common definition since the relationship between the carcass weight and the animal age varies from one species to another.

For more information, please visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency website. You may also contact your local office. Please see the link for your nearest office.

Appendix 1

Whole Sale

Leg

Primary Cut Secondary Cut
Hind Shank
Round

Inside Round

  • Tenderized Sandwich

Outside Round

  • Tenderized Sandwich

Eye of Round

  • Tenderized Sandwich
Sirloin Tip Eye of Sirloin Tip

Loin

Primary Cut Secondary Cut
Sirloin

Sirloin without tenderloin

Top Sirloin

Bottom Sirloin

Tenderloin

Loin Strip Loin
Porterhouse Table Note 1 Tenderloin
Rib Rib Eye

Table Note

Table Note 1

"Porterhouse" is the section of the Loin where the tender Loin is most extensive. This term is optional, since the cut can simply be called "Loin".

Return to table note 1  referrer

Flank

Primary Cut Secondary Cut
Top Flank
Plate
Flank

Front

Primary Cut Secondary Cut
Blade

Bottom Blade

Top Blade

  • Blade petite
  • Top Blade Eye
Neck
Short Ribs
Shoulder Tip
Brisket
Shank

Appendix 2

Diagram - Nomenclature of Horsemeat Cuts. Description follows.
Description for image - Appendix 2 presents a diagram of horsemeat cuts
  • Neck
  • Shoulder
  • Shank
  • Brisket
  • Plate
  • Flank
  • Sirloin Tip
  • Shank
  • Blade
  • Short Ribs
  • Rib
  • Loin
  • Porterhouse
  • Sirloin
  • Round

Appendix 3

Shank (hind)
Section separated from the Round by a cut through the stifle joint (point of articulation of the femur and tibia)
Round
Section of the Leg separated from the Sirloin with a straight cut anterior to the superior ossicle of the femur (near its proximal end), thus dividing the pelvic bone into two almost equal parts; from the Sirloin Tip by cutting along the femur, and from the Shank by cutting through the stifle joint (point of articulation of the femur and tibia).
Inside Round
Section of Round (inside leg) separated from the Outside Round by slitting along its natural contour.
Outside Round
Section of Round (outside leg) separated from the Inside Round by slitting along its natural contour. It may or may not contain the Eye of Round.
Eye of Round
The rounded (semi-tendinous) muscle found at the outside end of the Outside Round.
Sirloin
Sections separated from the Round by a cut anterior to the superior ossicle of the femur (near its proximal end), thus dividing the pelvic bone into two almost equal parts; from the Flank by a straight cut approximately parallel to the spinal column and into (or near) the prefemoral lymph node in the flank; from the Sirloin TIP with an approximately right angled cut from the superior ossicle of the femur (near its proximal end) towards the prefemoral lymph node in the flank; and from the Loin by a straight cut towards a point anterior to the iliac bone.
Sirloin Tip
Section of leg separated from the Flank, Round and Loin by cutting along the entire femur and continuing with an approximately right-angled cut from the superior ossicle of the femur (near its proximal end) towards the prefemoral lymph node in the flank.
Eye of Sirloin Tip
Vastus lateralis, a triangular muscle found in the Sirloin Tip.
Leg
Section comprising the Shank, Round, Sirloin, and Sirloin Tip.
Tenderized
Deboned slices or sections of muscle from the leg, (except Shank) that have been tenderized.
Sandwich
Deboned slices or sections of muscle from the leg (except Shank) that have been sliced thinly.
Shoulder
Section separated from the Neck by cutting through the anterior tip of the omoplate and a point slightly above the interior ossicle of the shoulder bone, lying posterior to the shoulder bone (near the distal end of the humerus); and from the Blade by a cut along the inside (ventral) surface of the body of the first thoracic vertebra.

The Shoulder is separated from the Rib and Short Ribs by a cut between the 5th and 6th ribs.

Porterhouse
Section separated from the Sirloin by a straight cut from a point anterior to the iliac bone, and separated from the Loin with a cut immediately anterior to the point of the gluteus medius and posterior to the fourth lumbar vertebra.

NB: Porterhouse may also be designated as Loin. However, Loin may not be designated as Porterhouse.

Loin
Section separated from Porterhouse by a cut immediately anterior to the point of the gluteus medius and posterior to the fourth lumbar vertebra, and from the Rib with a slit between the 16th and 17th ribs.
Tenderloin
Principal muscle (psoas minor and major) removed from the inside (ventral portion) of the Loin.
Strip Loin
Section of Loin from which the Tenderloin and bones have been removed. It comprises all or parts of the following three muscles: gluteus, longissimus dorsi and multifidus.
Shell Loin
Section of Loin from which the Tenderloin has been removed.
Flank
Section separated from the Loin by a cut approximately parallel to the spinal column, into or near the prefemoral lymph node in the flank; and from the Plate by a cut between the 12th and the 13th ribs.
Top Flank
Trimmed slices or sections of muscle from the Flank.
Rib
Section separated from the Blade by a slit between the 5th and 6th ribs; from the Loin by a slit between the 16th and 17th ribs; and from the Plate by a cut through the ribs, at approximately 90 degrees to the ribs.
Short Ribs
Slices or individual sections of Rib taken from the ends of the Rib and Plate by making a cut through the ribs parallel and adjacent to the cut separating Rib and Plate.

NB: Short Ribs contain no costal cartilage.

Plate
Section separated from the Rib by cutting through the ribs, at approximately 90 degrees to the ribs; from the Brisket by a slit between the 5th and 6th ribs; and from the Flank by a cut between the 12th and 13th ribs.
Blade
Section separated from the Neck by a cut starting anterior to the omoplate and passing through a point slightly above the inferior ossicle of the shoulder bone, which lies behind the body of the shoulder bone (near the distal end of the humerus).

The Blade is separated from the Shoulder by a cut along the inside (ventral) surface of the body of the first thoracic vertebra. It is separated from the Rib by a cut between the 5th and 6th ribs.

NB: The Blade may contain small pieces of the 5th and 6th cervical vertebrae.

Bottom Blade
Lower section of the Blade, excised by a cut through the ventral part of the scapula, and comprising the scalenus dorsalis and serratus ventralis muscles.
Blade Eye
Round portion of the longissimus dorsi muscle, obtained from the Blade
Top Blade
Upper section of the Blade, excised by a cut through the ventral part of the scapula, and comprising the supraspinatus infraspinatus and triceps brachii muscles.
Blade Petite
Infraspinatus and triceps brachii muscles excised from the Blade and sold separately.
Top Blade Eye
Supraspinatus muscle, excised from the Blade and sold separately.
Brisket
Section separated from the Shoulder by a cut through the ribs, at approximately 90 degrees to the ribs; from the Plate by a slit between the 5th and 6th ribs; and from the Shank by cutting along its natural contour.

NB: The Brisket may contain the entire palmaris muscle.

Foreshank
Section separated from the Neck and Shoulder by a cut through a point slightly above the inferior ossicle of the shoulder bone (lying dorsal to the distal end of the humerus): and from the Brisket by cutting along its natural contour.
Neck
Section separated from the Blade and Shoulder by a cut through the anterior tip of the omoplate and a point slightly above the inferior ossicle of the shoulder bone (lying dorsal to the body of the shoulder bone and near the distal end of the humerus); and from the Shank by a cut through a point slightly above the inferior ossicle of the shoulder bone (lying dorsal to the distal end of the humerus).
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